Annual school supplies drive under way

Screen Shot 2019-07-12 at 12.04.19 PMSRC members, family, and friends are once again helping less-fortunate students prepare for their return to school by participating in the annual Circles of Mercy Back-to-School Supplies Drive.

(Even though the matter of resuming classes in the fall is under debate because of the COVID-19 pandemic, at some point schools will reopen. But, no matter the date the same students still will need the supplies. They’ll simply be stored at the Circles headquarters until an opening announcement is made.)

The program, as in other years, focuses on grades (9-12) and on pre-school students, and SRC has been a major contributor for the past five years. Debbie Rodriguez again will serve as our coordinator for rounding up and delivering the donations. We must deliver our donations no later than August 21.

You can drop off your donated items at one (or more) of four events:

(1.) at our social gathering at the Brown residence on Thursday, July 23;

(2.) at the social event to be held by Roberto Martinez or Jim Leyhane on Thursday, August 6;

(3.) at our dinner meeting at Quigley’s on Thursday, August 20;

(4.) any time through Wednesday, August 19, at the Drumm Veterinary Hospital, 1639 Columbia Turnpike, Castleton.

The shopping list recommended by Circles of Mercy:

  • Pencils (Regular Lead #2 and Color)
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Erasers (For Pencils)
  • Pens (Black or Blue)
  • Dry Erase Markers (Assorted Colors)
  • Pocket Folders (Assorted Colors)
  • 3 Ring Binders (in 2” and 3” Sizes)
  • Loose Leaf Paper (College Ruled)
  • Graph Paper
  • Spiral Subject Notebooks (1, 3 and 5 Subject – College Ruled)
  • Subject Dividers (for 3-ring binders)
  • Plastic Zipper Pencil Cases / Boxes
  • 3”X5” Index Cards
  • Highlighters (Yellow)
  • Rulers (Regular with Metric)
  • Kleenex Tissues
  • Hand Sanitizer (Small Bottles)
  • Post-It-Notes
  • Backpacks (No Rollers/No Wheels)
  • Ear Buds (inexpensive, for computer use)
  • Flash Drives (all sizes)
  • Scientific Calculators (Texas Instrument TI-84)
  • Hole Reinforcement Labels
  • Combination Locks (for gym lockers)
  • Sharpie Markers (any color)

If you do NOT plan to attend any get-together or cannot utilize the Drumm Vet drop-off point, please contact Debbie Rodriguez to arrange a dropoff or pickup of donations: 518-766-3451 or

While there obviously are needy students in all districts, this effort is aimed at helping the Rensselaer City School District because it has the heaviest concentration of such children. Of its approximately 1,070 students, 68% qualify for free or reduced-price lunch compared to the state average of 52%. In addition, nearly a quarter of them live near or below the federal poverty level.

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